First Saturday at Hillheads for Whitley Bay in three months

Lee Kerr in action for Seaham Red Star.
Lee Kerr in action for Seaham Red Star.

Whitley Bay play their first Saturday game at Hillheads for three months this weekend when they take on Seaham Red Star.

A combination of fixture changes and postponements due to bad weather has meant that all of the club’s home games since Christmas have been played in midweek so this will be a welcome change and good news for those fans, including many children, who have been unable to attend the evening fixtures.

Seaham were promoted to the first division this season and after a slow start their form has steadily improved and they are now lying in a healthy eighth position, with only one defeat in their last seven games.

When the sides met in County Durham back in October, Whitley ran out 3-2 winners with Adam Shanks scoring two of the goals.

Seaham have several former Bay players in their ranks, including Robbie Bird, who joined his home town club in the summer after a successful season at Hillheads.

However, the Red Star player most Bay fans will be looking forward to seeing is Lee Kerr, who spent ten years at Hillheads and scored in all three of Whitley’s FA Vase triumphs at Wembley.

Kerr joined Bay as a 16-year-old and scored 186 goals in a total of 453 appearances, making him the third top scorer in the club’s history.

He will be assured of a warm welcome on his return to the ground where he became such a great favourite.

Aiming to prevent the striker turned midfielder from playing an influential role in the game will be a Whitley side buoyant following their stunning 5-1 victory over Dunston UTS last week.

They will be without the suspended Chris McDonald but should otherwise be at full strength for the game which has a 3pm kick-off.

Next Tuesday evening, Whitley are back at Hillheads for a local derby against Newcastle Benfield, looking to complete the double over the side they defeated in what was Paddy Atkinson’s last game in charge.

Two days later they make the long journey to North Yorkshire to take on league champions Marske United in a hastily rearranged fixture following last weekend’s postponement.

Both midweek fixtures kick-off at 7.30pm.